Windows

Configure Server Core for IIS Remote Management

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Everyone’s familiar by now with reasons why you want to use Server Core Edition for things like IIS, DNS, etc. In a recent project I found an interesting scenario where my GUI management server couldn’t connect remotely to the IIS instance that I was running on Server 2016 Core. There are a few oddities, so I decided to blog about it – let’s get going.

TL;DR steps are as follows:

  • Install IIS Web Role
  • Install IIS Management Feature
  • Change Registry Setting for Remote Management
  • Set Management Service to start automatically
  • Connect
  • Work
  • Get a promotion
  • Get a raise
  • Get a boat

Maybe not the boat, but that’s the dream right? Anyways, here’s the nitty gritty.

 

First, we need to see if IIS is installed. Assumedly because you’re already trying to figure out how to connect to it you’ve already done this. It’s good to check anyways, just to be sure. Note that in server core it first drops you into a cmd shell. This is 2017 and everything is done in powershell now, so go ahead and launch yourself into a PS shell. Then, we’ll check if the feature is installed by running the following command

Get-WindowsFeature | Where-Object {$_.DisplayName -eq “Web Server (IIS)”}

 

Here we can see that IIS is in fact not installed, so let’s go ahead and fix that. While we install IIS, it’s also important to install the IIS Remote Management Feature as well. Otherwise, there will be no connecting remotely to the instance. I’m installing both on the same line, using the following command.

Install-WindowsFeature Web-Server, Web-Mgmt-Service

 

It shouldn’t take too long. When it’s done you’ll get your output showing it’s complete.

 

Now that everything is installed, there is actually a registry key that needs modified. RegEdit is able to launch from Server Core from the command line, and you’ll need to set the following key to “1” rather than the default setting of “0”.

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WebManagement\Server\EnableRemoteManagement

 

Right, now we’ve got the settings in place. Unfortunately things still don’t work. That’s because the IIS Remote Management Service is disabled by default. Let’s go ahead and fix that by setting the service startup type to “automatic”, starting the service, and querying it’s state to confirm. We will do that by using the following three commands.

Set-Service WMSVC -StartupType “Automatic”

Start-Service WMSVC

Get-Service WMSVC

 

The status is now running, so we should be good to go. Let’s give it a shot by going into the GUI management server, launching the IIS console, and connecting to the server core box.

 

It will prompt you for the server name, and a user/password combo. After which, everything should be all set!

 

 

So there you have it, we’ve configured all the required settings to remotely manage IIS on server core!

I hope this makes your day at least a little bit easier.

Thanks,

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PowerShell Script to Check Symantec Endpoint Protection Definition Updates

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Symantec Endpoint Protection has quite a hold on the Anti-Virus market share. Many have environments where it’s used, and may not be the administrators or even able to view data from the Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager. In light of that, I’ve written a PowerShell script to check the last update time for SEP definitions that can either be run manually or set as a scheduled task.

# Check if Symantec Endpoint Protection is installed. If not, exit.

#Check last write date of AV definitions and compare to a variable set for time – 7 days. 

# Write to the event log whether definitions are current or not

#Send email if definitions are out of date

*Things to Note*

  • As it stands, in each of the “if ($writetime” blocks there is a “write-host”. If you plan on running this as a scheduled task you’ll want to remove or comment out those lines.
  • I will also be writing this as a SCOM management pack, and an SCCM Compliance Item.

 



###################################################################
## Check Symantec Endpoint Protection Antivirus Definition Dates ##
## v1.1 ##
## Matt Hansen // 01-06-2017 ##
###################################################################

#Set Variables
$hostname = hostname
$7daysago = (get-date).AddDays(-7)
$key = 'HKLM:SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Symantec\Symantec Endpoint Protection\CurrentVersion\SharedDefs'

#Test for registry key path and execute if neccessary
if (test-path -path $key)
{

$path = (Get-ItemProperty -Path $key -Name DEFWATCH_10).DEFWATCH_10
$writetime = [datetime](Get-ItemProperty -Path $path -Name LastWriteTime).lastwritetime
#Write-Host A min ago was $7daysago. DEFs was last written at $writetime

if ($writetime -lt $7daysago)
{Write-host "You have old defs"
Write-EventLog -LogName "Application" -Source "Symantec Antivirus" -EventId "7076" -EntryType "Warning" -Message "Symantec Definitions are older than 7 days. Last update time is was $writetime"
$notify = "yes"
}

if ($writetime -gt $7daysago)
{Write-host "You have current defs"
Write-EventLog -LogName "Application" -Source "Symantec Antivirus" -EventId "7077" -EntryType "Information" -Message "Symantec Definitions are current within 7 days. Last update time is was $writetime"
$notify = "no"

}

#Email Notify
if ($notify -eq "yes")
{
$param = @{
SmtpServer = "smtpserver@company.local"
Port = 25
UseSsl = $false
#Credential = "you@gmail.com"
From = "SymantecDefChecks@mcompany.local"
To = "administrator@company.local"
Subject = "Symantec Defintions Out-of-Date on $hostname"
Body = "Symantec Definitions are older than 7 days. Last update time is was $writetime on $hostname"
}
Send-MailMessage @param
#write-host "Email Sent"
}

}
Else {Write-host "Not installed"}

I hope this makes your day at least a little bit easier.

Thanks,

How to move SCVMM VMs into a Cloud

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If you’ve ever added hosts to an SCVMM instance you’ll know that there’s seeminly no easy way to move the newly imported VMs from those hosts into SCVMM clouds. I’ve found the best way to do this is by using the SCVMM command-line interface, which unfortunately has a few quirks.

Set-SCVirtualMachine is the command you’ll need to use, with the flag “-Cloud” like in the example below.

Set-SCVirtualMachine -VM “NewVM1” -Cloud “Cloud1”

Unfortunately, every time I’ve tried this I’ve gotten an error saying it can’t convert the value type correctly like as shown below.

setscvm-failure

 

For whatever reason, I’ve found that the work around here is to set both the VM and the Cloud as variables and run the command again.

$VM = Get-SCVirtualMachine “NewVM1”

$Cloud = Get-SCCloud “Cloud1” 

Set-SCVirtualMachine -VM $VM -Cloud $Cloud

setscvm-success

 

Then we have success!

 

sccloud-success

 

I’ve yet to figure out why this is, but at least it works.

I hope this makes your day at least a little bit easier.

Thanks,

SCVMM Error 2912 “The configuration registry database is corrupt (0x800703F1)”

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I recently spun up a new SCVMM environment, created my first VM, and attempted to create a template only to be faced with a job error.

Error (2912)
An internal error has occurred trying to contact the Host01 server: : .

WinRM: URL: [http://Host01.lab.local:5985], Verb: [INVOKE], Method: [LoadSubkey], Resource: [http://schemas.microsoft.com/wbem/wsman/1/wmi/root/scvmm/P2VSourceFixup?RegFileName=C:\Users\SVC_VMM\AppData\Local\Temp\tmp6AB5.tmp]

The configuration registry database is corrupt (0x800703F1)

Recommended Action
Check that WS-Management service is installed and running on server host01.lab.local. For more information use the command “winrm helpmsg hresult”. If host01.lab.local is a host/library/update server or a PXE server role then ensure that VMM agent is installed and running. Refer to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2742275 for more details.

 

I’ve seen this issue before and typically it’s because I go on auto-pilot and sysprep the VM by hand. That will cause an issue, go ahead and start the VM and login, shutdown and let VMM do the sysprep.

Unfortunately this time that wasn’t the problem, though it was similar. When I shut the VM down I accidentally hit “Turn Off” and it hard powered the VM down. A simple boot, login, and retry fixed the problems here.

 

I hope this makes your day at least a little bit easier.

Thanks,

Disable Windows Firewall With PowerShell

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Welcome all, to the age of the gui-less windows server. As more and more people spin up labs with command-line only boxes, this command can be helpful.

Remember to only turn off your firewall in lab environments where you know you’re not exposing  yourself to additional risk.

Set-NetFirewallProfile -Profile Domain,Public,Private -Enabled False

 

To do this using netsh in cmd, you can use the following command.

 

netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state off

 

I hope this makes your day at least a little bit easier.

Thanks,

Task Manager Freezes on Windows 8/Server 2012

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I’m the kind of guy that ALWAYS has task manager open. I’m serious, ask anyone I work with — I sometimes even have a whole screen for Task Manager and Resource Monitor (Maybe that’s why I like SCOM so much?). Though, I’ve noticed a couple of times on Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Server 2012, Server 2012 R2 that when I open task manager the stats just freeze. The system is fine, everything is normal but the stats just freeze — like this.

frozen.PNG

 

They never do anything else, and just stay at that initial opening mark. So frustrating! I’ve SFC’d, I’ve rebuilt my performance library, I’ve copied new bits for taskmgr.exe, everything! It turns out for some reason sometimes the view speed gets set to pause. I never would have though of that, but somehow it just happens (though, I’ve never seen it happen in any OS earlier than Windows 8/Server 2012).

 

Here’s how you fix it. Go into View –> Update speed and notice it’s set to pause. So strange.

paused.PNG

 

Go ahead and set it to normal and you’re back in business!

normal.PNG

 

I hope I’ve made your day, at least a little bit easier.

 

Thanks,